This is the official website of Key West’s award-winning watercolor artist, Martha dePoo




on martha

In experiencing Martha dePoo’s watercolors, one is instantly reminded of well-documented expressions: “Authority is 80% of the picture”, “The first stroke determines the tempo and the rhythm of the piece”, and “Composition is everything.” Picasso.

Watercolor, like drawing, requires a commitment and authority no other medium demands, and Martha dePoo makes clear that walking this tightrope with no safety net is her thing. Most artists would rather choose a medium that allows for dabbling, modulation, putting in, taking out, warming here, cooling there until satisfied, such as oils and acrylics. Hers is putting it down with no apologies. That is why the art work is always crisp and fresh. It will be almost ten years since I first encountered this very special artist and her work. My immediate response was a sense of comfort in the clarity of the technique.

When artists can take the audience on a trip into their world with ease, it is because they are masters of their technique and authorities on their craft. Ms. dePoo is clearly in command of her craft, with vast knowledge of the language of art, the skill and talent clearly developed through dedication and devotion to the art of watercolor. It is clear that she loves what she does and we love what she creates. Her mother, Suzie dePoo (Zuzek), the highly regarded master artist, accomplished in all mediums, was her most influential teacher.

The appreciation of Martha dePoo becomes evident when we, the audience, find ourselves in her world, her invention and creation of her Key West, a Key West of the imagination and memory that is more real than the current fastpaced commercial plastic world we now witness. It is a world of a slower time and place, a place we can identify as the real Key West.

Key West is very fortunate to have an artist of the stature of Ms. dePoo. Let’s hope everyone looks seriously at her work. Ask yourself this: If it were not for Martha dePoo, would we ever have experienced the Martha dePoo feeling and the Key West of the mind and spirit?

Gerry Contreras
Professor Emeritus
Pratt Institute